The purpose of life is to discover your gift; the work of life is to develop it; the meaning of life is to give the gift away.
~ David Viscott
Lucky are those who knew their gift from early on, like Mozart, and spent the rest of his lifetime doing it.
Don’t despair – some people discovered it relatively late in their life. Check out this cool infographic about Late Bloomers from fundersandfounders.com.
How to discover our gift?
The philosopher Alan Watts (1915-1973) posed the question “What if money is no object? What do you desire?” to get people to start thinking and finding their gifts. If there’s something you really enjoy doing, so much so that if you don’t have to work for money you’ll be doing that most of the time, be it climbing trees, riding horse, playing musical instrument, painting, making people laugh, etc, there’s a very good chance that the particular activity may be something close to your gift.
But what if we don’t have a clue? Years of conditioning by education and society makes us lose touch with ourself. We’re so brainwashed with the mindset of success equals material gain, or status, or fame, and secure future. And thus we run along the familiar rat race, bogged down in the routine: wake up, go to work (more often something we don’t really like doing), go home, sleep, repeat. And so on. Until one day we question – is that all there is? Work for money, and splurge the money for a new gadget/car/home/etc or a 2-weeks lavish vacation to new destination?
Is that all there is? Why spend 50 weeks doing something we don’t like in order to be able to have 2 weeks dream vacation? What if we can do what we like in the 50 weeks, wouldn’t that be better? Of course we still have to pay the bills, so that thing we like to do ideally able to generate us some income. In order to do that we’ll have to be good at it, we have to be expert in it. And to become an expert in something is to spend more time doing it.
If we don’t know what is our gift yet, start with experiencing many things. Not closing door to anything. Take every opportunity to try new things. Meet new people. Learn new skills. Read various books. Travel to new places. If we found something we really like to do, spend more time doing that, so we get better and become good at it. When we are good at something, there’ll be opportunity to give the gift away – to pass it on.
If we try something new and it doesn’t stick, that’s okay. Now we know. And can move on trying other things. The most important thing here is to do something; not just stay in our own comfort zone and moaning that we don’t know what our gifts are.
Often I hear people say “But I’m too old/weak/stiff/etc” or “But I’m not smart/pretty/rich/etc enough”. Or the other one I often hear is “But I don’t have time/money/resources/etc”. Or “But I don’t know anything else besides what I do”. I’m sorry to break this news – if you think that way, then that’s how it’s gonna be. Like Henry Ford said:
Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.
The good news is, if we think we can, somehow there’ll be a way. Universe will arrange something, and it’s up to us to be open enough to grace to notice it, and to take action on it.
Here’s something for new year motivation – from the fine folks at holstee.com
Hand & heart image by mylittlebluesky photography